A few months ago, there was a lot of talk about splitting California up into smaller states. In fact, this had made the ballot for November. Many were questioning why this would mean more representation for the “state”. Well, it does and it doesn’t. If it’s three states, there will be three times the representation. It would no longer exist as the State of California. It would be three separate states, so it would be represented just like Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois are represented. Meaning, more elected officials from “California” would be going to Washington. This whole idea would be making an end-run around the representation by population argument.
That said, this is no longer going to be an option. The California Supreme Court unanimously decided to scrap the plan from the ballot. The interesting thing about all of this is that it was a billionaire who came up with the idea. It wasn’t really a political measure. Tim Draper spent $1.2 million on Cal 3, which, as I said, would have divided the state into three states: Southern California, California, and Northern California. While he did collect more than 600,000 signatures, nearly double the required amount to get on the ballot, the Supreme Court ultimately reviewed the measure after a legal challenge was filed by the Planning and Conservation League (PCL) last week.
The PCL is opposing the measure because it doesn’t necessarily fix any of the issues. In fact, they argue that it just makes them worse. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of PCL’s argument:
“Because significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition’s validity, and because we conclude that the potential harm in permitting the measure to remain on the ballot outweighs the potential harm in delaying the proposition to a future election, respondent Alex Padilla, as Secretary of State of the State of California, is directed to refrain from placing Proposition 9 on the November 6, 2018, ballot.”
Draper, of course, thinks that there’s some kind of back door deals going on. He made the following statement in a Facebook post:
“The whole point of the initiative process was to be set up as a protection from a government that was no longer representing its people. Now that protection has been corrupted. Whether you agree or not with this initiative, this is not the way democracies are supposed to work. This kind of corruption is what happens in third world countries.”
Drapers argument, which I do think is valid, means that people would be closer to their government. While I’m not suggesting that the Supreme Court is wrong. I can, however, see the arguments on both sides. Unfortunately, I think the issue is much bigger than all of this. America has long been established as a republic and making any changes to the way that it functions or operates is not going to gain a lot of traction. There is a saying that I think is somewhat relevant in this case. Many people have said – you can’t fight city hall, and while I completely understand that this is a different level of government, it still applies here. No matter how much money you have, you aren’t going to be able to make changes. Unless you are able to use that money to get elected.